Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World
This deceptively simple supermarket choice echoed in the title symbolizes the dilemma of a society on a collision course with the planet’s life-support systems. Do we clear-cut forests, process pulp, and bleach it with chlorine to make paper bags? Or do we make a pact with demon hydrocarbon, refining ancient sunlight into handy plastics? About half the total volume of America’s municipal solid waste is packaged – at least 800 pounds per person each year – and the “upstream” costs in energy and resources used to make packaging are even more alarming.
In this fascinating look at the world of packaging, writer Daniel Imhoff and photographer/designer Robert Carra give consumers, product designers, and policy-makers the information we need to take steps toward a more sustainable future. They delve into the histories and life cycles of packaging materials and look at the countless ways that packaged goods shape our culture.
Published in 2005, 168 pages. 8.5″ x 9″
100+ Original Photographs
Written by Daniel Imhoff
Foreword by Randy Hayes
“Pull the right thread and the whole world unravels its secrets. Dan Imhoff has found a terrific one in the packaging of industrial civilization, ever-present yet invisible, and, in his capable hands, endlessly fascinating.”
— Michael Pollan, Author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.